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Old 11-07-2009, 08:24 PM
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Default Digging, looking for, chasing shadows

Yup, thats what Lynn is doing. She used to be horrible about staring at shadows. She would sit there for 15 to 20 minutes easily! Then someone told me that is not a good thing, and I need to stop her. (on chaz maybe)
So I have interrupted the behavior and give her something else to do. She still has a shadow fetish but nothing like she used to have.

Well, today she keeps digging on top of a shadow. I keep interrupting her, and she will go dig at another! She has had plenty of exercise today! So I dont know what her deal might be. I think I am going to end up making her stay in the bed room with me (where the computer is) for a while. away from the shadows

Besides possible boredom, why does she do this?

please dont tell me that I have a dog with a chemical imbalance AND another dog with OCD.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:34 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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There was an episode of IMOTD about shadows and lights, if I recall correctly. Let me look really quick and see if I can find it.

In the meantime, while she's doing this - could you interupt, and then give a kong to distract??

Edit: found this
Quote:
I actually just saw a television program on this very thing starring top dog trainer Victoria Stillwell (the program is called "Its Me or the Dog" and plays on Animal Planet). The shadow/light/reflection obsession is actually a form of obsession disorder (similar to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in humans). Many dogs are entertained by shadows, etc. but when they begin to salivate or chew excessively at the forms on the wall it becomes an obsession. Many dog breeds are actually prone to this disorder, having especially fine tuned hunting senses meant to pick up on shadows, etc.

The trainer in the program used a buzz word to interupt the obsessive behavior. Victoria set up a situation in which the dog would be exposed to the shadows and would call out "Enough!" in an attention getting tone (not negative or positive in nature), clap her hands, and walk from the room (everyone else in the room would need to leave as well). She repeated this exercise repeatedly until the dog followed her out of the room. The idea was that any attention, positive or negative, would reinforce the behavior. Praise was given when the dog began to follow her out. This all worked very well with the Irish Setter on the program who was so obsessive that he would actually fall into a trance and crave the reflections and shadows -- it had all become a ritual (much like handwashing for people who suffer from OCD).

The dog also responded to light reflections caused by cookingware. The owners were made to walk in front of the reflection and the dog when he seemed to be focused on the reflection. The owner would simultaneously call out the buzz word, "Enough!" If a dog has a form of obsessive disorder, they may begin to transfer their obsession if they cannot seek out their normal obsessions. It is important to stop these obsessions as well with the same buzz word and a reclamation of the object or body block. The dog on the program began to see amazing results within two weeks.

I hope this helps. The show is really an amazing one and Vistoria Stillwell is very, very knowledgable.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:36 PM
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wouldnt giving her a kong be rewarding her for playing with shadows? Since the kongs are rewards
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:38 PM
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we had a pair of border collies at the doggy day care i worked at that were OBSESSED...
"mommy" would drop them off and they would run to the back wall where they would stand and stare intently at the wall all day, if the shadow on the wall moved theyd chase the moving part untill it whent back to normal...

they were so obsessed that we couldnt even interupt the behaviour...we tried playing with them...nope...
standing infront of them would get you pushed out of the way or tripped, pulling them away would get you nipped...
the only way you could get them to leave was to say "mommys here" at which point theyd run to the exit and stare at that...if the door didnt open within 2 minutes back to the wall they whent...

it was insane.

sry...just thought it was a weird story that kinda related.

as to why shes doing it...i dunno...before that pair id never seen that kind of obsession before.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:39 PM
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Thanks Brattina!

maybe doberluv or lizzy will chime in soon too!
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:43 PM
Brattina88 Brattina88 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dogsarebetter View Post
wouldnt giving her a kong be rewarding her for playing with shadows? Since the kongs are rewards
yes, giving her the kong while she's doing it would be rewarding. But if you interupted, called her away from it, (you can have her do a down or something) and then gave her a kong she shouldn't associate it as a reward.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:45 PM
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ah ha! Thanks

she is now laying on my bed asleep. on her own accord. She either got bored with the shadow, or tired of me interrupting her.
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:48 PM
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Sorry, I don't have a lot of experience with OCDs.... not that I'm saying that's what this is (per the OP).

A method kind of related to Victoria's that was posted, would be to teach the dog an incompatible behavior - like go to bed - and cue that behavior when she starts obsessing over the shadows. Have her go to bed for a few minutes - you can reward that with treats - and then release her and give her something else to keep her busy, like a kong, knuckle bone, treat dispensing toy, etc. Technically you're rewarding her for the go to bed, and you're also keeping her busy long enough that hopefully she'll find something better to do.

I do agree, though, you should not let her obsess over the shadows....
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Old 11-07-2009, 08:57 PM
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how do you get two complete fruit cakes for dogs? I didnt "try"
LOL
I love them anyway.
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Old 11-09-2009, 03:08 PM
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Why does she stop doing this for a week or more and then start again!
do you think she will grow out of it
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